is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. Kristian first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize, and audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.
Kristian is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415 and the Kammerakademie Potsdam, & Dunedin Consort (Bach St. Matthew Passion).
He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.
Kristian's rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d’Or de L’année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, & Caecilia Prize); Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik); Beethoven, & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award). In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year. Recent releases include Volume 2 of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester.
In the 2017/18 season, Kristian becomes an Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Conductor with the English Concert. He play-directs programmes with both orchestras and also with Camerata Salzburg, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Zürcher Kammerorchester . As a soloist he performs with Orchestre des Champs Elysees/Herreweghe, Les Violons du Roy/Cohen and Le Concert Olympique/Caeyers. Solo recitals and chamber music take him to London, Rome, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, Berlin, USA and Japan.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
can look back on a success story lasting over twenty years and is a popular guest at the most important concert halls and opera houses. A glance at the ensemble’s concert calendar shows a diverse repertoire played at a variety of venues, ranging from the Baroque to the musical present and from Freiburg to the Far East.
The Freiburgers’ artistic credo, however, remains unchanged: the creative curiosity of each of them, with the intention of playing a composition in as lively and as expressive a manner as possible. This also involves their own members playing demanding solo concerts. Cultivated and simultaneously rousing ensemble playing has thus become an international trade mark: “The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra is a diamond of particular brilliance. In the technical and mental ‘mastery’ of the instruments and the individual parts one sees what ‘historical’ music-making is currently capable of. Vivid and pure, transparent and lucid, delicate in phrasing and articulation and without excessive pathetic pressure, one hears all the details and experiences the whole as a musical cosmos of overpowering richness. Open your ears, this is how music sounds!” (Salzburger Nachrichten)
The FBO continuously collaborates with important artists such as René Jacobs, Pablo-Heras Casado, Philip Jaroussky, Andreas Staier and Thomas Quasthoff, and has a close alliance with the French label harmonia mundi France. The artistic success of this musical partnership is expressed in numerous CD productions and the receipt of prominent awards, such as the ECHO Classical German Music Prize 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2007, the Gramophone Award 2011, the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2009, the Edison Classical Music Award 2008, or the Classical Brit Award 2007.
Under the artistic directorship of its two concertmasters Gottfried von der Goltz and Petra Müllejans, and under the baton of selected conductors, the FBO presents itself with about one hundred performances per year in a variety of formations from chamber to opera orchestra: a self-administrated ensemble with its own subscription concerts at Freiburg’s Concert Hall, Stuttgart’s Liederhalle, and Berlin’s Philharmonie and with tours all over the world.